Amost everyone young and old wore t-shirts with the school's colors brown and white. They read "Memories and Milestones, 1911 - 2012."
Organizers also produced a slide presentation, which was on a loop, showing students and staff over the years since the school opened in 1911. One black-and-white photograph featured a Sisters of Mercy nun, Sr. Maria Del Carmen, 91, who turned out for Sunday's celebration.
Del Carmen graduated from the K-8 school in 1934 and called Mount Carmel "the very best."
"We'll miss it, I'm sure," Del Carmen said.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced in January it was closing Mount Carmel, which later unsuccessfully appealed the decision. A group of Mount Carmel parents joined forces with like-minded parents from nearby Sacred Heart of Jesus, also slated for closure, to appeal the closings to the Holy See with the help of a canon-law consultant. The Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education is reviewing the matter and a decision could come by the end of June.
The battle over the closings was not far from the minds of some parents like Carol O'Donnell.
"They [the archdiocese] want voucher reform passed to save Catholic education, [but] you just shut down two schools. Where are you going to send them in our neighborhood?," said O'Donnell is a Sacred Heart alum with close ties to the parochial school. Her daughter Kellynn is enrolled in 4th grade and her mother, two uncles, grandmother, great-uncle and great-aunt attended Mount Carmel.
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